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Ecommerce ERP Software: Putting The Pieces Together For Retailers

Posted by Chadwick Jones

May 14, 2014

putting pieces togetherEcommerce has changed the landscape of shopping – not only the way we shop, but also the way we even think about shopping. In order to keep up, online retailers need to reconsider their approaches to sales, distribution and customer interaction. Your business is unique, though. If you're crafting your own approach, make sure it's actually well designed for your business by building it on a solid foundation of ecommerce ERP software.

Ecommerce and cloud-based ERP software seem like a natural fit – and that's because they are. When you put all the pieces together, the advantages of cloud ecommerce software are significant. Use a full suite of cloud-based ERP software to realize benefits spanning each important aspect of your ecommerce business. Let's look at the puzzle of business management on a piece-by-piece basis.

Sales

If ecommerce has changed the way consumers shop and buy, then it stands to reason that you need to change the way you sell to those consumers.

The Sales piece of the retail puzzle is a complicated one: It relies on current buyer habits, consumer preferences and trends that are always evolving. Cloud-based ERP software with a sales module makes managing the sales funnel and customer relationship management easy. It's one simple interface in which you're able to manage your customer base, tailor your sales tactics to your customers and gain meaningful insights to improve your performance.

Storefront

Buyers have perfected the art of shopping by perusing physical stores to see items in person, and then going home and purchasing online. Consumers may choose to purchase online for a number of reasons: digging for the best price, the convenience of doorstep delivery or maybe a larger range of options than brick-and-mortar locations keep in stock. Regardless of the reason, the behavior remains – and that's what you need to optimize for.

Many stores are opting for an omnichannel approach to business, offering consumers a physical storefront, an online store and a mobile interface. Consumers embrace convenience, and the omnichannel trio delivers. But managing the omnichannel approach isn't easy.

You need a way to connect your storefronts to create a fluid experience for consumers while increasing your business's supply chain, reporting and product visibility.

Enter: ecommerce ERP software. A full suite of business management tools provides your entire enterprise with a single interface connecting your online store, your mobile site and your brick-and-mortar location(s). Customers experience your business as a cohesive unit, because it is one.

Distribution

Your customers love the convenience of online ordering, because their items arrive on their doorstep in little time. But they don't usually think about what goes on behind the scenes.

Getting the order fulfillment and distribution pieces to fit into your ecommerce puzzle is tough. Distribution centers, brick-and-mortar storefronts and business headquarters are often located in completely separate areas, but still need to work together as a cohesive unit.

Distribution software, as part of a full suite of ERP software, is the glue that holds your fulfillment and distribution together. It covers inventory management and order processing, fulfillment and tracking, but also enables you to access insights, reports and KPIs that help you improve the performance of your business and all its pieces.

Direct-To-Consumer Ordering

Because of the complexity of distribution, many retailers have decided to implement direct-to-consumer (D2C) ordering practices. Ecommerce businesses outsource order fulfillment and distribution to a partner, which cuts down on overhead costs – but it also requires a new strategy.

It may not be cost-effective to only have one central distribution center anymore. Many retailers are choosing to add multiple regional distribution centers that are strategically placed in areas with more consumers and higher order volumes. Every fulfillment center you have, though, needs to be well connected to other centers, headquarters and your storefront channels.

Connecting all of these centers requires that a comprehensive set of tools be accessible through one interface: ERP software in the cloud, fitted with a distribution module, is the best option to put the pieces together, and to connect them with the larger puzzle of your business as a whole.

Coordinating every aspect of your ecommerce business is a difficult puzzle to solve. But, when your business success hangs in the balance, you need to take the time to develop a well-crafted and effective strategy. Find the right suite of ecommerce ERP tools to put the pieces together.

Learn more about how SMB Suite's comprehensive cloud-based ERP package is specially designed to connect the dots and help your business not only grow, but also thrive.

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